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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Urban Fiction - Part II

Here is a link to a Roundtable featuring Urban Fiction author Relentless Aaron, Malaika Adero (senior editor for Atria Books), and author Nick Chiles who recently had a story on Urban Fiction in the New York Times titled "Their Eyes Were Reading Smut."

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5225091

I personally thought this was an interesting disscusion. After listening to this, I was even more confused about Nick Chiles opinion. On NPR, he said that he didn't have a problem with street lit when according to the NY Times article it is evident that he DOES. He claims that he has a problem with walking into the African American Fiction section and the first thing he sees is street lit. He also said on NPR that he didn't have a problem with street lit being in the same section as other African American Lit. That is not what I got from the NY Times article. I mean in the article he even named actual titles of the books that he called smut! He had such a scathing opinion piece in the NY Times, but on NPR he changed his opinion...which is ridiculous! I felt that he changed his opinion because he was in the presence of a book editor and a street lit author. Nick Chiles waffled his opinion on NPR. I don't agree with Nick Chiles but if you have that strong of an opinion on something, you need to stick to it.


Radiah
http://www.urban-reviews.com
info@urban-reviews.com

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Times...They Are A-Changing....Sam Goody Closes 100s of Stores

Being a music enthusiast since I was a child, it's a no brainer that I've put in my time as a sales clerk, assistant manager, and manager for some music stores in my young adult years. I worked for 3 years at Vibes Music (which was under National Record Mart) on Marquette University's campus in Milwaukee, WI. That store closed in May 2001 due to being an 'underperforming' store for the chain. Ironically, it wasn't just our store because The NRM chain would fold totally by the end of 2001!

Luckily, I found myself another job with Tapeworld which would soon convert to FYE in the summer of 2001. But alas, the ever-changing music market and tough competition from big box retailers caused the Milwaukee location to close in January 2003. So the only major music entity that existed in the city from that point on was Sam Goody. They had a store in the Grand Avenue Mall where FYE was located and was it's only competitor. They also had stores at Bayshore Mall, Mayfair Mall, and nearby Brookfield Square mall.

Fast forward to February 2006 and ALL FOUR of these local Sam Goody stores are now closing...leaving Milwaukee in a strange situation of NO NATIONAL MUSIC CHAIN in the city. There's no Virgin Megastore, no Tower Records, no nothing. The only thing we have now are non-traditional stores (Borders, Barnes and Noble), big-box retailers (Best Buy, Circuit City, etc) and smaller local shops (Exclusive Company, DiscMan, Atomic, etc).

Read the story about the 341 Musicland locations that are closing at the link below. This includes Sam Goody and Suncoast stores. Some locations are losing both...and some just show a Sam Goody or just a Suncoast closing (for us in Milwaukee, it looks like both are closing at all locations even though they aren't listed that way in the story.) Feel free to leave your comments on this topic......

http://www.toymania.com/news/messages/7861.shtml

UPDATE: I've seen a LOT of blogs saying that Sam Goody/Suncoast everywhere are closing. This is a link to the .pdf about Musicland's reorganization (Chapter 11). It looks like it's about half of the stores closing.....not ALL of them. But you never know what has changed in recent weeks. Here is the link from Musicland's website: http://www.musicland.com/pdfs/GeneralFAQs.pdf



Charles
http://www.Urban-Reviews.com
info@urban-reviews.com

Saturday, February 11, 2006

R.I.P. JAY DEE aka J Dilla (1974-2006)


R.I.P. JAY DEE (aka J Dilla)
~Super Producer/Solo Artist/Former Slum Village member~
(1974-2006)


Show him some love here or at Okayplayer.com
You will be truly missed.
If you have Winamp, copy and paste this online tribute of
300 Jay Dee songs.

Keep him in your hearts and your decks forever.


Charles
http://www.urban-reviews.com
info@urban-reviews.com

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

IS IT ME????? - GRAMMY EDITION

Here is the latest installment of IS IT ME?...this time dealing with Hip-Hop and R&B stars on tonight's GRAMMY show. Leave your comments if you agree or disagree with my comments. (this is just meant to be funny, y'all..don't get all bent out of shape if I talk about your favorite person in this post...that includes you too, Radiah!) [wife is a huge fan of Mariah Carey]

IS IT ME???...or should Ciara have kept this beautiful white dress on rather than that 'street corner wear' she had the nerve to appear onstage with?

IS IT ME???...or are you appalled that the Black Eyed Peas won for best 'RAP' anything?

IS IT ME???...or is this picture of Common and Taraji P. Henson enough proof that he's gotten Erykah Badu out of his system?

IS IT ME???...or were more disturbed by the 'possible' breathing tube that was strapped to the mic than Sly's out-of-this-world mohawk?

IS IT ME???...or did Kanye West's outfit in this pic make him look like he was the love child of John Travolta (think Saturday Night Fever) and Kool Moe Dee?

IS IT ME???...or did Kanye West redeem himself with this homage to the Black College staple of marching bands and Greek stepping?

IS IT ME???...or was Mariah LOOKING better than ever yet SINGING worst than ever?

IS IT ME???...or are you just as happy that 'G.O.O.D. MUSIC' is finally being recognized with Mariah, Kanye and John Legend all capturing three statuettes each?

IS IT ME???...or did Terrence Howard look like the lost member of the 'Five Heartbeats' with this ridiculously shiny suitcoat on?

IS IT ME???...or were you just as shocked as me when you saw De La Soul opening the GRAMMYs with the Gorillaz?



Charles
http://www.urban-reviews.com
info@urban-reviews.com